Jefferson P. Swycaffer was born in San Diego and grew up on a cattle ranch, learning from an early age to ride, shoot, and do dangerous things with dynamite. This exposure to real work inspired him to move to the city and take up a profession in computers and database management, much easier work, and a whole lot safer. He fell into science fiction and fantasy fandom in his school years, and was an early historical board wargamer and fantasy role-playing gamer. His first professional sale was to Dragon Magazine, the Dungeons and Dragons house magazine, and his work, nonfiction and fiction alike, appeared regularly there through the 1980s.
Jefferson confesses, with some shame, that when he first sat down to write, he didn’t know what a paragraph was. Content just smeared down the page without a break, lacking cohesion and context. Nowadays, he knows what a paragraph is. The cohesion and context must be assessed by the reader.
His first seven books were “starships and empires” science fiction, with spacefleets, battles, intrigue, spies and assassins, and a genetically-engineered slave race to provide moral difficulties. Since then, he mostly writes “urban fantasy” involving skewed versions of the (laughingly so-called) real world, but infringed upon by mystical intrusions of various sorts.
He still lives in San Diego, and is active in organized fandom (also laughingly so-called.) He has been the convention Secretary for ConDor for a good many years, and occasionally for Westercons and World Fantasy Cons.
Jefferson’s sister, Atanielle Rowland, has published a number of fantasy novels, as well as a trio of scholarly books about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It was she who taught him what a paragraph was, and sought to enlighten him as to cohesion and context.